As you probably do not know (as it seems that only people living within 50 klms of the event do know) The 2005 World exposition is being held in Aichi prefecture, Japan from March 25 through to Sept 25.

The theme is "Nature's Wisdom" in English, and Ai-Chi in Japanese. This is a pun on Aichi, which is the name of the prefecture that it is held in. The meaning of the kanji character "Ai" is love. They have changed the "chi" kanji from Aichi-which means "to know"- to the "chi" kanji which is half of the word for "earth". So it reads as "love earth".

Now I find this very ironic since the Japanese people hate real nature because it is uncontrollable and they have done more than any other country to destroy it. There is not a riverbank in Japan that is not concreted in, no schoolyards have a single blade of grass. A lot of the coastline is littered with huge concrete objects that look like giant throwing jacks- you know, the ones girls used to play with at school. A more appropriate theme of Japan's Expo would be "love concrete", unfortunately there is no kanji for concrete that can be used in a cute pun.

I also find the theme hypocritical for a number of reasons. Not the least being what was done to the site of the Expo to prepare it. There used to be a small hill on the site (it was a park). This being too natural they tore it down and built an artificial hill right where they had demolished the real one!
This is supposedly an artistic installation. Another alleged artistic installation is the metal trees erected where they chopped down a large number of real ones.

Initially they had banned all food and drink from being brought into the site, "to protect against food poisoning"(!!), they said. However even the Prime Minister couldn't refrain from remarking how expensive and "not so tasty" the food is. At 1000 yen (that's about $10) for a slice of pizza, it would have to be pretty damn good. But the way they Japanify all foreign food, i.e. take the taste out, I doubt any food bought at the Expo would resemble any of the food it is supposed to represent. Latest news is they have relented and will now allow people to bring their own food in, however no bottled drinks may be carried in because of terrorism fears. They had to salvage some of their income.